Jacques Pépin's wife, Gloria, sometimes makes a richer version of the vinaigrette below by whisking in a raw egg yolk. Since mâche, also known as lamb's lettuce, is such a delicate green, she tosses the salad just before serving it.
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4 medium beets (1 1/4 pounds)
2 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 small shallot, minced
2 teaspoons minced tarragon
3 tablespoons peanut oil
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 pound mâche
How to Make It
In a medium saucepan, cover the beets with water. Add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Simmer the beets over moderate heat until tender, about 1 hour. Drain and let cool slightly. Peel the beets, then cut them into thick matchsticks and transfer to a bowl.
In a large bowl, whisk the vinegar with the mustard, shallot and tarragon. Whisk in the peanut and olive oils and season with salt and pepper.
Add 3 tablespoons of the vinaigrette to the beets and toss well. Add the mâche to the remaining vinaigrette and toss well. Add the beets and toss. Transfer the salad to plates and serve at once.
The recipe can be prepared through Step 2 one day in advance. Refrigerate the cooked beets whole and unpeeled. Refrigerate the vinaigrette.
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